David Mendez

Make coffee and comics at Redondo Library’s How-To Festival

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by David Mendez

The Redondo Beach Public Library is expanding its effort to encourage lifelong learning this weekend, holding its first How-To Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at both the Main Library and North Branch Library.

The Festival plans to pack 20 total workshops into four hours at the Main Library, ranging from the life-saving (“How to perform CPR,” with the Redondo Beach Fire Department) to the practical (“How to navigate the Home Lending Process,” with Kyungwon Ahn of Citibank,) to the…esoteric (“How to make a T-shirt into Yarn,” with Frau Fiber, of Sewing Rebellion).

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“I think it’s going to be a great, fun day, and I hope a lot of people take advantage of the classes,” said Redondo Beach Library Commission Chair Teri Cannon. “It’s important to get them to come in and see that it’s a place where they can meet and do things with other people, and just be more involved in the community.”

Matthew Bryce, of nearby Klatch Coffee, will lead a workshop on how to brew coffee, moving beyond steeping ground beans in hot water. Bryce will teach attendees how to use three different techniques: pourover, French press, and clever drippers.

“Even though each method itself works differently, all of this is to get a better idea of how coffee extraction methods really work,” Bryce said. Though the methods the professionals use can be complex, Bryce said that what matters most is the brewer themselves.

“Your taste is a part of you, and that’s what you should be leaning toward when you’re brewing,” Bryce said. “I think we’re in a moment where everything is about a strong, rich cup, and that’s a safety zone for people. They haven’t had an opportunity to explore.”

Mike Wellman, of Manhattan Beach’s Comic Bug, will be pulling double-duty that day, working both a comic convention and lecturing at the Main Library.

“I always use the story of Spider-Man…He’s got a really perfect character arc — he’s a nerd, put-upon, gets bit by a radioactive spider, lets his uncle get murdered and realizes he has to do something good,” Wellman said. “Every great story, you walk away with a message, and that’s the message of Spider-Man — it’s not just having powers, it’s having ethics.”

He plans to work with attendees to help them craft the message they want to put into the world, then develop the first page of their own comic book.

“I love libraries…I love books, so any time a library asks me to do something, I’m there,” Wellman said. “You go there to learn and to read — all of the things that you find in books, all of the facts you find there are more concrete than what you can find online.”

All of the day’s classes, from CPR to yoga, from painting to podcasting, from drumming to meditation, will be taught by volunteers, Cannon said.

“It’s good for community people to come in and share their knowledge,” Cannon said.

For more on the library’s How To Festival, including a schedule, visit redondo.org/library, or facebook.com/RedondoBeachPubLib.


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